Women’s rights advocacy group, “Mujeres por la Paz” or “Women for Peace,” called upon thousands of women to march in Colombia’s capital city Bogota on Friday during a public holiday for “Peace and Democracy.”
Friday’s march will see thousands of women taking to the streets of Bogota in the name of putting an end to Colombia’s 50 year old armed conflict and constructing a peace that includes and protects women, according to radio station W Radio.
Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro’s called a civic holiday due to the march, and made reference to an article in Colombia’s Constitution that says, “Peace is a right and one that should be obligatory for everyone to have.”
Petro invited all citizens to come out and march with these women to support the cause of peace for all, while promoting ongoing peace talks with the rebel group, FARC in Havana.
“Peace is in the agreements that are being signed in Havana, but also in those that come day by day from 23 years ago [from peace agreements and a revised constitution]. For this reason, I want to invite you all to walk together with these women, who have suffered the most from Colombia’s armed conflict,” said the Mayor.
This march received international attention as well. United States Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-D) just Wednesday used Colombia as an example of some of the worst instances of violence against women in the world, and also as an example of some of the strongest women in the world for continuing to organize marches such as Friday’s.
“We know that violence against women is also weapon of war. In Colombia, unspeakable acts of violence have been commonplace against the women of that country, carried out by all the armed actors. The violence continues even after women and children are displaced or seek to rebuild their lives. Colombian women – like their counterparts around the world – are often leaders in their local communities and neighborhoods, and therefore targets of threats and violence. But they are not just victims – they are leaders of change and reconciliation. This Friday, November 22nd, thousands of Colombian women will gather in Bogota to march in support of peace, an end to violence, justice and reconciliation. I hope I speak for all of us here in this room when I say that we stand with these brave women as they unite for peace and an end to violence and conflict in Colombia.”
McGovern has been one of strongest advocates for the improvement of human rights in Colombia in US congress.
Other international organizations such as the UN have also spoken out against Colombia’s approach to historical violence against women.
November is “End Violence Against Women Month” in Colombia and the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women comes Monday, November 25.
Article by Colombia Reports